The New York Attorney General has sent subpoenas to a pair of banks seeking records about multiple Trump Organization projects, marking the latest real-world impact of Michael Cohen’s blockbuster Congressional testimony, The New York Times reported late Monday.
One of the banks involved has long been Trump’s most important lender for years, a firm that maintained ties with Trump long after other major Wall Street firms labeled him a credit risk: Germany’s Deutsche Bank.
Comments by President Trump’s former attorney and fixer before the House of Representatives two weeks ago spurred the new inquiry, a person briefed on the subpoenas told the Times. Cohen said the Trump Organization had misrepresented the size of Trump’s fortune in statements to financial firms, inflating the value of his assets in order to reduce his insurance premiums or obtain loans. Those actions could add up to crimes, depending on the details, legal experts have told VICE News.
The New York AG investigation is civil in nature, rather than criminal, the Times said, adding that the full scope of the probe is not yet clear.
The New York AG’s office was taken over in January by Letitia James, who said shortly before taking office that she plans to “use every area of the law to investigate President Trump and his business transactions and that of his family as well.”
Any criminal charges filed by New York State prosecutors could be especially dangerous for Trumpworld, because state charges can’t be undone by presidential pardons, unlike federal charges.
The subpoenas to Deutsche and a smaller New Jersey-based bank, Investors Bank, seek details of several Trump projects, the Times said:
—The Trump International Hotel in Washington
—The Trump National Doral outside Miami
—The Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago
—Trump’s failed 2014 attempt to purchase the Buffalo Bills football team
—Trump Park Avenue in New York
A spokesperson for Deutsche Bank declined to comment on the details of the Times story, but wrote in a terse emailed statement to VICE News: “We remain committed to cooperating with authorized investigations.”
The New York State Attorney General’s office and Investors Bank didn’t return requests for comment on Tuesday morning.